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Lawmakers consider "textalyzers" for car crash investigations

Posted at 6:31 PM, May 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-15 18:31:16-04

A short text here. A quick check of Facebook there. They're distractions that drive Scott Allan crazy on the road. “I see people constantly on the phone texting or calling or being distracted from things constantly,” he said.

That's why the commercial truck driver supports legislation that would allow law enforcement access to your phone in the event of a crash. “It would make people less likely to want to text while driving.”

He isn't the only motorist we found who agrees police should have immediate access to your cell phone to see whether you were on it when the accident happened. ”That would be understandable and I would think it would be more than acceptable. An accident is about finding out who is at fault altogether or what's at fault,” said Robert Negel.

Some say it could violate ones privacy depending on how the technology is used. Currently, an officer needs your consent or a search warrant to look at your device.

Ali Touhey: Does something like this go too far?
7 Eyewitness News Legal Analyst Florina Altshiler: It can. It has the potential to go too far. That's the opposition is the privacy interests that it’s potentially breaching and really depends on what this technology does.

Others question its accuracy and whether it would lead to false arrests if someone in the car other than the driver was using the phone at the time of the crash. “We're letting the police have too much leeway. They search us way too often and we have to put our foot down. Any opportunity that comes up to do so and this might be just that opportunity, we should take,” said Alex Green.

The legislation has support in the Senate, but faces opposition in the democrat-led Assembly.